Thought from Dr. D: True authority is not assessed by the number of people who cower when we are present, but by the number of secret pains and sorrows we have endured for the sake of those we serve.

This is so true. As a pastor I have endured secret pains and sorrows — heartaches, insults, disappointments, betrayals, etc. — caused by the people I’ve served. But I also have endured their heartaches, insults, disappointments, betrayals, etc. It’s an honor to be the person someone turns to in a point of crisis. It’s an honor to carry a burden with or for them. But this also is often done in secret — people usually don’t like to go public with their deepest pains.

I remember when someone in our church went through a profound heartbreak. I felt as thought my heart were breaking, even though I was completely removed from the situation! And when another person suffered from deep hopelessness. I tasted it myself.

To me, this is the hardest part about pastoring — the very nature of pastoral authority.

It also explains why Jesus has authority over all things. Think of the secret pains and sorrows He has and continues to endure!